More free online training opportunities for ELT professionals

Given the popularity of my recent post about free online resources for continuing professional development, and the proliferation of fantastic training opportunities out there, I thought this topic probably merited a Part 2. Here are some more ideas for your next training fix. Please don’t hesitate to add more recommendations in the comments!

notepad-932864_1920 pixabay
Source: Pixabay

TED education talks

You’re no doubt aware of the wealth of information on It can be hard to know where to start when faced with such abundance! If, like me, you’re interested in young learners, then try this compilation of bite-size talks relevant to early childhood education. For teaching teens, why not learn more about the adolescent brain? Or this on nurturing creativity? Or consider these 3 rules to spark learning and curiosity. I could go on …

Online ELT conferences

The International House teachers’ online conference was held this year on May 7th. With two 45-minute plenaries, and over twenty 10-minute mini-talks, there was a lot of interesting content to digest. The slides and recordings are available for anyone to view here (and you can click here for programme details). Though quite badly publicised (I felt) to those of us outside the IH organisation, it was free for everyone to register, so keep an eye out for this next year if you want to tune in for the live sessions.

Software like Adobe Connect is making it easier and easier to drop in to online conferences and fit attendance around other commitments. I was pleased to be able to do this with the pre-conference event day run online by the IATEFL Young Learners SIG in February, which featured thirty short, informative talks. You didn’t have to be an IATEFL member to participate. It’s worth keeping a lookout for these pre-conference events next year. Young learner-focussed events are posted to the website here (and I imagine other SIGs will be running events of their own).

TEFL podcasts

Great if you’ve got time to kill during a commute, or enjoy listening to something while, you know, loading the dishwasher, podcasts are an alternative to sitting in front of a screen for your CPD. There are lots of ELT podcasts available via Twitter – check out @TEFLology, @theTeflShow, @TEFLCommute and @motcast.

More MOOCs

I talked a little about MOOCs in my previous CPD post. Since then, I’ve added more of these to my ever-ambitious To Do list. (As previously noted, they run fairly frequently, so you can often register interest for next time.)

The Education and Development section of the Open University’s website includes lots of interesting-looking free courses about young learners, and also courses on school leadership and applied linguistics which might appeal. I think you can do these at any time. They seem to take between about 8 and 20 hours in total, so are shorter than many MOOCs. Topics include an Introduction to child psychology, Play, learning and the brain and Exploring children’s learning.

The University of Sheffield offer a longer course on Exploring play via FutureLearn (lasting 7 weeks).

Also run by FutureLearn, the 4-week Dyslexia and foreign language teaching course looks useful for ELT teachers and materials developers, too.

Over to you

Have you discovered any online training opportunities worth sharing, or know of any coming up? Have you done any of the courses mentioned above? I’d love to hear about your experiences of this in the comments.


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